I was born in London and then we lived in Germany and Switzerland. Our family traveled a lot before moving back to the United States when I was seven. I think my early childhood has had a big influence on my books: in Switzerland we lived close to a small town surrounded by mountains, woods, lakes, orchards, fields and farms, and I often I find myself painting pictures of the things that happen in these kinds of places. The idea for one of my first picture books, All My Little Ducklings, came from a German song that I remember singing as we went to the lake to feed the ducks.
As a child, I loved to draw and paint, and I still have some of my very first pictures. But I was often bored in art class at school when the teacher told us what to do; I always had all kinds of art projects going on at home, and I enjoyed that much more. But it wasn't until I went to college that I realized I wanted to be a professional artist, and not until several years after that I decided I wanted to illustrate children's books.
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